Apple stock hit a new 52-week high yesterday, closing at $76.90.

Share values climbed 3.95 per cent ($2.92) on very heavy trading - around 30 million trades in contrast to an average 16 million.

Investors are considering Apple's new recognition as the world's leading brand name, and its iPod-inspired consumer electronics magic touch.

In recent weeks, Apple has announced a slew of products set to keep its market moving: new PowerBooks, the Mac mini, iPod shuffle, iLife, iWork and more.

The Mac mini is widely expected to drive Windows users to the platform, with some analysts predicting Apple's market share could climb to 4.5 per cent or more.

Number-crunchers are also assessing the company's new business model: Apple has evolved to be far less dependent on hardware sales than before, with iPod and other music products accounting for around 40 per cent of revenue, and its software products accounting for a large chunk of the remainder.

CBS Marketwatch opened February declaring Apple its "Stock of the Month": be warned - every stock nominated as "Stock of the Month" in February lost ground.